RealAg LIVE! with Jennifer Green on biogas generation on-farm

Episodes:

You’ve maybe heard of, or like our host Shaun Haney have had the chance to visit an anaerobic biodigester facility, but generally the information out there is few and far between.

Coming at the livestock and manure management from another angle, our guest for today’s RealAg LIVE! is Jennifer Green of the Canadian Biogas Association.

RealAg LIVE! streams every weekday at 3 pm E on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter!

SUMMARY

  • over 200 installations across the country
  • Not just on-farm! Municipal sources too
  • 50 to 60 of them are agriculture-based
  • Huge range of capital costs
  • Highlight that there are some really great profit potential and provide environmental benefit
  • Layer of sustainability, circular inputs and more complete use, and of course the capture of methane as reusable energy
  • Are farms making enough energy to sell? Yes! Most set-ups are selling energy to the grid, and zeroing out their energy bill
  • Can you just call up the power company to connect to the grid? There is a protocol (and the Farming Biogas FAQ answers many)
  • There are contracts for power or renewable natural gas
  • Dollar bills, y’all! The price paid for energy has a range, but 20 to 25 cents/kilowatt hour happens
  • The provinces play a big role, but programs can come and go
  • Potato waste is an option! (not just for vodka, apparently)
  • Is biogas a premium, same, or lesser value? That depends on the program in place. You won’t be able to finance it without getting a decent price
  • How do I build one?  It’s not plug and play yet. Kick the tires! Look at those that are already running
  • Payback is financial, but also environmental, sometimes less tangible pay offs
  • Do you have to be a digester engineer?
  • Electrical, mechanical, microbiological knowledge…no professional designation, no, but you will likely need to draw on professionals to get it up and running and keep it running
  • Will need to expand the expertise necessary
  • Spreading what IS left — it doesn’t smell! Methane is removed.
  • There’s room for 30x growth
  • Biogas is a great fit for waste management, environmental causes, and renewable energy
  • A quiet achiever in agriculture
  • Use the heat!
  • Are all feedstocks created equal? Nope.
  • Why you’ll see mixing with off-farm materials
  • Mostly at dairies, but feedlots, greenhouses, and hog production can use biogas
  • There is certainly opportunity in biogas for agriculture — and there’s funding too!

If you want to find out more about biodigesters from a farming perspective, check out our new podcast Farming Biogas.

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